Score: Furman 68, Western Carolina 59
Records: Western Carolina 3-14, 0-3 SoCon, Furman 11-6, 2-1 SoCon
Location: Ramsey Center, Cullowhee, N.C.
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Judith Martin Ruiz led all scorers with a career-high 19 points in Western Carolina women's basketball's 68-59 Southern Conference home-opening loss to Furman Thursday in the Ramsey Center.
The Catamounts had a strong second half but couldn't overcome the 7-0 run by the Paladins in the final three seconds of the third period and the first two minutes of the fourth. Furman outscored WCU 6-0 in the final 30 seconds of the game when the Catamounts were trailing by just three points, 62-59. The Paladins' final six points, in the game, were from the free throw line.
The Catamounts won the third period outscoring the Paladins 20-15 including going on a 10-0 run to open the second half. Furman stormed back outscoring the Catamounts 17-11 in the fourth. Nikki Johnson also had a career-high with 12 points. Furman was led by Le'jzae Davidson's 16 points.
Tied at 48, Furman went on a 7-0 run from the end of the third period to the eight-minute mark in the fourth period to pick up the road win over Western Carolina.
- Martin Ruiz had a career night with 19 points and also connected on three treys.
- Johnson had 12 points for Western Carolina hitting a pair of three-pointers.
- Sherae Bonner returned to the Catamount line-up and put in a solid game with six points, five rebounds and three blocks.
- Tembre Moates just missed scoring in double figures with eight points.
- Furman's Davidson paced three Paladin's in double figures. Celena Taborn had 15 points and Cierra Carter had 14.
Inside the Box Score
- Furman opened the game draining four straight three-pointers to turn a 2-0 Catamount lead to a 12-4 Catamount deficit in the first five minutes of the contest.
- Both teams hit seven three-pointers in the game. After hitting four three-pointers in the first period, the Paladins hit just three in the next three periods.
- Trailing 36-28 at the half, Western Carolina opened the third period with a 10-0 run to take a 38-26 lead to open the second half.
- Western Carolina hit five of its seven three-pointers in the second half.
- Both teams had 16 turnovers in the game with WCU turning their turnovers into 21 points.
- For the second straight game, Western Carolina's trips to the free throw line were way under the opponent. The Catamounts went to the line just eight times, hitting six, compared to Furman's 23 trips the charity stripe hitting 17.
- Furman won the rebounding battle 39 to 31.
- The Catamounts had 15 assists in the game.
- Furman shot 40.7 percent from the field and Western Carolina was just below that mark at 39.7.
News & Notes
- Martin Ruiz got her second start at home and made the most of it with a career-high 19 points.
- Martin Ruiz has scored 49 of her 65 points in this season in the last six games dating back to her first double-figure scoring performance of the season with 10 points at High Point.
- With three blocks in the game against Furman, Bonner now has 125 in her career and needs just three blocks to move from fourth place to third place replacing former Catamount Jeanne Marvel (1986-88) who ended her career with 127.
- Bonner now has 779 career rebounds and remains in eighth places. She needs 12 rebounds to move up to seventh.
- The 59 points scored by the Catamounts is the most by WCU in a conference game this season. - Johnson's 12 points were the second time this season she has scored in double figures. Both have been career highs as her previous career-best was 11 points.
- The Catamounts seven three-pointers against Furman was the second most this season. The Catamounts hit eight three-pointers at High Point.
- Furman's seven made three-pointers against Western Carolina is the second-most WCU has given up all season.
Western Carolina completes its two-game homestand Saturday as the first part of a doubleheader with men's basketball. The women's team hosts Wofford at 5 p.m. while the men welcome UNCG in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.
For the latest information on Catamount women's basketball, follow @catamounts on Twitter or go to www.catamountsports.com.For the latest information on Catamount women's basketball, follow @catamounts on Twitter or go to www.catamountsports.com.